Karate is more than a sport. So believes sensei Deon Abrahams, founder of the Zensekai Karate Goju Ryu Club in Maitland.At this karate club, students are taught various other life skills.“We do not only nurture them physically, we expose them to various aspects of life, using karate as the vehicle.” He says this helps broaden the children’s minds, helps them to be creative and even do well at school.During the year the students don’t only do karate, they do walkabouts in the community, attend heritage talks and engage in other team-building activities.In December, the club is planning a karate summer camp at Soetwater in Kommetjie. At the camp the students will learn more about nature conservation and the environment. A total of 25 students will also be grading (graduating to the next belt colour) at the camp. The club will leave for Soetwater on Friday 13 December and return on Sunday 15 December.To make this possible for all, the club is hosting a cooler box party fundraiser at Garden Village Primary School on Saturday 26 October.Proceeds will go towards funding the trip. The club has 32 students from areas including Garden Village, Maitland, Manenberg and Goodwood. The youngest karateka (learner) is five years old, the oldest, 47. According to Abrahams some students come from underprivileged backgrounds and use karate as an escape from social ills. They practise five days a week.Abrahams says the monthly fees (R150 for juniors and R180 for seniors) go towards preparations for grading. “These are dedicated students who work hard and have shown growth, both physically and mentally since they joined the club. “We like to have treats for them occasionally to acknowledge their efforts.”Abrahams says despite the club having a tough time surviving since it opened its doors in 2015, some of the students have been part of the club from day one.“Their parents trust me and sometimes ask me to intervene if their child starts misbehaving. “The children find it easier to talk to an outsider, than a family member,” says Abrahams.He adds making a success of the fundraiser is very important to him. “The students deserve to end off their year with something special.” V Entry to the cooler box party costs R50 per person. It starts at 19:00. For more information call Deon Abrahams on 072 187 6600.